The 380 kV line between Bärwalde and Schmölln has connected the Boxberg power plant to the German power grid for over 30 years. 50Hertz is replacing this line with a more modern 380 kV overhead line.
To minimise the impact on the landscape, it was decided to build the new line on the current 46 km long route. The construction work will be carried out while the existing line is still in operation. This sets high demands in the field of building logistics and industrial safety. The route of the current and new 380 kV line runs through the districts of municipalities Boxberg/Oberlausitz, Lohsa, Radibor, Neschwitz, Puschwitz, Crostwitz, Panschwitz-Kuckau, Burkau, Demitz-Thumitz, Schmölln-Putzkau, Nebelschütz, Guttau and the city of Bischofswerda. Even though construction is taking place on an existing route, 50Hertz had the environmental impact of the project studied in accordance with §3a of the Act on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). For the construction of the upgraded 380 kV line between Bärwalde and Schmölln, the Land administration of Saxony (www.lds.sachsen.de) carried out the plan approval procedure, which was concluded on 18 February 2013. The approval of the plan establishes the compensation measures for landscape conservation necessary to compensate for the construction Project.
The route begins in the Bärwalde substation (municipality of Boxberg), in the Görlitz district. From there, it runs southward through the forest of Milkeler Heide, where it crosses national road 108 and the Horka-Hoyerswerda railway section. Here, it also runs parallel to the 380 kV line connecting Streumen to Bärwalde.
To the west of the ponds of Rauden, the route crosses the Kleiner Spree lowland to pass west of the municipality of Milkel. The route crosses the S106 and continues west of the ponds of Milkel. South-west of Lomske, the line turns away in south-westerly direction and runs on between the ponds of Neschwitz and Großdubrau. Further on, it passes to the north of Radibor, after which the 380 kV line spans district road 7282 and the B96. From the B96 on, the route runs west, parallel to a 110 kV line.To the south of Luga, the line spans the "Milkwitzer Wasser" river and the "Hoyerswerdaer Schwarzwasser" further south-west.
South-east of Crostwitz, the 380 kV line veers south-west across several tributaries of the "Kleinhänchner Wasser" river. On the north-western side of Uhyst am Taucher, the line spans the A4 motorway and a few arms of the "Klosterwasser" river. West of Burkau, the route first intersects with a 110 kV line, which it then follows, along with another overhead line. Before it reaches the B6, all three lines turn away south, continuing south by south-west, passing west of the urban forest of Bischofswerda. The lines cross the railway sections of Bischofswerda-Bautzen and Bischofswerda-Schmölln-Putzkau. All three lines end at the Schmölln substation, east of Bischofswerda.
The plan approval procedure for the upgrade of the 380 kV line between Bärwalde and Schmölln was concluded with the key planning decision of 18 February 2013 by the Land administration of Saxony, the authority responsible for the procedure. In the scope of the plan approval procedure, all plans, drawings and explanations related to the application for the planning approval procedure were available for consultation from 29 May to 29 June 2012 in the municipalities of Boxberg/Oberlausitz, Lohsa, Radibor, Neschwitz, Puschwitz, Crostwitz, Panschwitz-Kuckau, Burkau, Demitz-Thumitz, Schmölln-Putzkau, Nebelschütz, Guttau and Bischofswerda. The deadline to submit objections ended two weeks after the consultation round, i.e. on 13 July 2012.
For a detailed study on the environmental effects, an environmental impact assessment (EIA, German) and an accompanying landscape conservation plan (LCP, German: “LBP”) were drawn up in the scope of the plan approval procedure. As such, the effects of the project on nature and landscape could be determined.
The expansion works for the 380 kV overhead line between Bärwalde and Schmölln started in May 2013 and were completed by the end of October 2014: on 24/11/2014, 50Hertz included the renovated line in its regular Operation.
In August 2013, the first foundations were placed and the towers were stored on site after the construction sites had been cleared and set up. Before the building operations began, an initial public consultation was held on 16 April 2013.
The construction took place while the system was operational. This was possible by first powering down and dismantling one side or circuit of the existing route. On the disconnected side, the new pylons were constructed and fully equipped on one side. The new circuit then went operational and the second circuit of the existing line could be switched off and disassembled. This created the necessary space to install the second circuit of the new line.
During the new construction, the spans were adjusted to meet current regulations. Their length was increased to 350-500 metres, reducing the number of pylons from 108 to 106. The new lattice towers are two-level pylons, i.e. having two crossarms. Because of the deviated route for the new pylons, the centre line was moved approx. 10 metres.
The current 380 kV line between the substations of Bärwalde and Schmölln was constructed in the days of the DDR. At present, it no longer meets requirements. The existing route, with a length of 46 km, can nevertheless be used to construct a new 380 kV line. As a result, the transmission capacity of this new 380 kV overhead line is increased by 40%. 50Hertz considers the construction of an expanded 380 kV line between Bärwalde and Schmölln instrumental for two main reasons: in Boxberg, a new block with a capacity of 675 MW will be put into operation at the turn of the year (late 2011/early 2012). This will bring the installed capacity of the Boxberg power station to 2,575 MW. In addition, the share of renewables in the grid increases by leaps and bounds every year. The construction of the new 380 kV overhead line and the raised transmission capacity allows for an increase in electricity transport capacity in the southeast of Germany.